May 26, 2005 - 1:30pm to 4:30pm
Houston Advanced Research Center
The Houston Advanced Research Center hosted a Roundtable May 26, 2005 to discuss both the perceived barriers and disincentives to the implementation of C&D waste recycling programs and public outreach materials. People invited to participate in the Roundtable discussion were from varied organizations, contractors, builders, engineers, the recycle and salvage industry, landfill industry, remodelers, architects, and the community. Attendees were Michael Bastian, (Bastian Builders),Joe Collett (Belleau Wood Environmental Ltd), Tom Cox (Tom Cox Homes), Lynn Edmundson (Historic Houston), John Ferguson (Natures Way Resources), Darby Kurtin (Kurtin Fine Homes), Toni Meek (Belleau Wood Environmental Ltd), Heather Morris (C West -Construction Waste & Environmental Services of Texas), Steve Powers (Green Clean Management Inc.), Greg Roberts (Watkins Hamilton and Ross Architects), Barbara Smith (Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County), LaVerne Williams (Environment Associates), Brian Yeoman (HARC).
Brian Yeoman gave a brief overview of The Houston Advanced Research Center and the Residential C&D Waste Study. Each participant introduced themselves and their reason for participating or what floats their boat.
The discussion began with comments on the handbook draft that had been sent to each participant prior to the Roundtable event. The consensus was:
- to include a condensed version for easy use in the field, perhaps a one page bulleted with main points.
- the main points being-definition of C&D waste, options for recycle, landfill, grinding or salvage, on-site process for each option, vendor information
- National vs. Local-emphasize local options and processes, what can be done in the H-GAC area
- less statistics, more of the options and process of recycling or grinding
- include in the process information, test for soil before adding additives from grinding
HGAC - Report that says without economic pressure on tipping fees there is little likelihood of increasing C&D waste diversion from landfills
- Economics - Inexpensive fees for waste at the land fills
- Complexity - Too complex for builders and public to start
- Roach coach – food toughest issue to deal with mainly Subcontractors
- (Can you make subcontractors responsible? - Yes as part of a program)
- Fines for salvaging $2,500.00 apply in some municipalities
- Lack of evaluation
- Lack of ease of entering recyclable stream
- Lack of Market for recyclers
- Legislative-Lack of Enforcement of existing illegal dumping laws
- Illegal dumpsites need to be talked about and their long term consequences (John Ferguson-wetlands, enforcement issue with the county authorities not a priority
- Why is the enforcement so unenforceable in Montgomery County
- How do you have accountability?
- Personalize the issue
- Embarrass them into action
- Environment not on the public radar
- Disconnect between the what is said and what people so personally "everybody wants something for nothing" in the salvage business
- Lack of Education-Educate skilled contractors
- Fragmented because everyone sees a different piece of the problem due to their background
- Barrier is the bar is too low for "green building", need a Green building bible
- Dumpsters not for public waste
- Mobil Homes problem in the waste stream
What is possible?
- Production Builders –ok, Small to medium-maybe to much
- Do we need a cliff notes version? -other counties have a one page version for C&Dwaste something to hook and reel
- Education of Builders
- Firm sponsored LEED-AP
- Education of Contractors and public- condensed version of report
- Restore the "master builder" by:
- Cross Training
- Smaller Companies